Topdressing with organic matter is the most effective way to reduce thatch in lawns. It increases microbe lations and activity by providing the food they need. Large microbe populations not only improv e >nil health, they also break down thatch quickly and steadily, preventing a gradual buildup. Compost is the Ix-st topdreasJ ing. but you can use any fine material, such as dehydrated manure. (Don't use peat moss, which repd> water.)
The process is basically the same as spreading fertilizer or lime, though you're using more material. Aim for a layer about V* inch (.6 cm) deep. Since the material you're spreading is a low-level and slow-release source of nutrients, you don't have to worry about creating a striped lawn. You can topdress lawns at any time, but spring and fall are best. Fall is particularly g(x>d if you're going to overseed sparse lawns with one of the improved varieties or blends of grass seed. Spread the seed and then cover with the topdressing to improve germination. (For metric equivalents, see "Useful Conversions" on page 208.)
If your topdressing is very fine and/or granulated, you can spread it Va inch deep with a fertilizer spreader. Otherwise, distribute several small piles evenly over your lawn. Rake out the piles into a roughly 'A-inch-deep layer.
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